FISKCONs Veganism: Are we not to offer milk!?,4137/

Now they are many people debating and fighting regarding what to eat and what not to eat. But is it really difficult to know what we eat as Vaishnavas!?

Our Archaya and Founder of ISKCON gave us clear instructions what we need to offer Krishna. So when he said that Krishna wants milk , why not offer Him!?

Many leaders in the institution are living a vegan lifestyle like Sivarama Swami, Devamrta Swami, Hrdayananda Swami and others and are also promoting to stop drinking milk because they say “it’s not ahimsa”, but what would Prabhupada say!?

For my part I can understand that because for myself I was following the vegan style of life. But again even if the milk is poisoned with animal ingredients and the cow was not treated well, we have to give Krishna what He wants.

Srila Prabhupada was well aware of the bad conditions that cows are suffering from:


Although the cow is beneficial because one can draw religious principles from her, she was now rendered poor and calfless. Her legs were being beaten by a śūdra. There were tears in her eyes, and she was distressed and weak. She was hankering after some grass in the field.

The next symptom of the Age of Kali is the distressed condition of the cow. Milking the cow means drawing the principles of religion in a liquid form. The great ṛṣis and munis would live only on milk. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī would go to a householder while he was milking a cow, and he would simply take a little quantity of it for subsistence. Even fifty years ago, no one would deprive a sādhu of a quart or two of milk, and every householder would give milk like water. For a Sanātanist (a follower of Vedic principles) it is the duty of every householder to have cows and bulls as household paraphernalia, not only for drinking milk, but also for deriving religious principles. The Sanātanist worships cows on religious principles and respects brāhmaṇas. The cow’s milk is required for the sacrificial fire, and by performing sacrifices the householder can be happy. The cow’s calf not only is beautiful to look at, but also gives satisfaction to the cow, and so she delivers as much milk as possible. But in the Kali-yuga, the calves are separated from the cows as early as possible for purposes which may not be mentioned in these pages of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The cow stands with tears in her eyes, the śūdra milkman draws milk from the cow artificially, and when there is no milk the cow is sent to be slaughtered. These greatly sinful acts are responsible for all the troubles in present society. People do not know what they are doing in the name of economic development. The influence of Kali will keep them in the darkness of ignorance. Despite all endeavors for peace and prosperity, they must try to see the cows and the bulls happy in all respects. Foolish people do not know how one earns happiness by making the cows and bulls happy, but it is a fact by the law of nature. Let us take it from the authority of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and adopt the principles for the total happiness of humanity.

Prabhupada had also mentioned many times the importance of cows and milk on so many occasions.

Here are some of His instructions:

SB 8.6.12, Purport: 

“By friction one can get fire from wood, by digging the earth one can get food grains and water, and by agitating the milk bag of the cow one can get nectarean milk. Milk is compared to nectar, which one can drink to become immortal. Of course, simply drinking milk will not make one immortal, but it can increase the duration of one’s life. In modern civilization, men do not think milk to be important, and therefore they do not live very long. Although in this age men can live up to one hundred years, their duration of life is reduced because they do not drink large quantities of milk. This is a sign of Kali-yuga. In Kali-yuga, instead of drinking milk, people prefer to slaughter an animal and eat its flesh. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His instructions of Bhagavad-gītā, advises go-rakṣya, which means cow protection. The cow should be protected, milk should be drawn from the cows, and this milk should be prepared in various ways. One should take ample milk, and thus one can prolong one’s life, develop his brain, execute devotional service, and ultimately attain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is essential to get food grains and water by digging the earth, it is also essential to give protection to the cows and take nectarean milk from their milk bags.”

We find here that milk is really meant for the health of our brain so we can understand spiritual topics and engage ourselves in devotional activities.

Light of the Bhagavata 27, Purport: 

“If we really want to cultivate the human spirit in society we must have first-class intelligent men to guide the society, and to develop the finer tissues of our brains we must assimilate vitamin values from milk. Devotees worship Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa by addressing Him as the well-wisher of the brāhmaṇas and the cows. The most intelligent class of men, who have perfectly attained knowledge in spiritual values, are called the brāhmaṇas. No society can improve in transcendental knowledge without the guidance of such first-class men, and no brain can assimilate the subtle form of knowledge without fine brain tissues. For suchimportantbrain tissues we require a sufficient quantity of milk and milk preparations. Ultimately, we need to protect the cow to derive the highest benefit from thisimportantanimal. The protection of cows, therefore, is not merely a religious sentiment but a means to secure the highest benefit for human society.”

“Vaiśya means they should take care of the cows, cow protection, go-rakṣya. Why go-rakṣya? Why not other animal rakṣya? Kṛṣṇa has not said “animal rakṣya” or “janawal-(?) rakṣya.” Go-rakṣya. The cow is very, very important animal. If you want to advance your spiritual consciousness, then you must have sufficient milk and sufficient grains. That is civilization.
Cows must be protected. It is so important animal. It is giving the you nectarean food milk, and from milk, you can save your children, you can save your diseased persons.”

Here it is clearly stated that we really need milk to develop our brain so we can receive transcendental knowledge. So for advancement in spiritual knowledge we need to protect cows and take milk from her. If we don’t have such ahimsa milk we can take also normal dairy or also organic milk. But unfortunately the FISKCON devotees cannot understand: “Why, why not be vegan like the big swamis in ISKCON!?”

Offering leads to liberation

Devotee (7): Would it be better if we gave up eating vegetables?

Prabhupāda: You cannot eat anything accept Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Even if we eat vegetables, that is also sin. Bhagavad-gītā clearly says, bhuñjate te tv agham pāpā, ye pacanty ātmakāraṇāt [Bg. 3.13]. If you prepare very nice pure foodstuff for eating yourself, then still you are eating sins. You have to prepare anything very nicely, offer it to Kṛṣṇa, then you take, then you will be free from all sin. Yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo. Even there is sin… Sin there must be. Just like you are cooking, you are taking water from the jug, there are so many germs you are killing. The killing responsibility is there. In the higher sense, “Thou shalt not kill”, means you have to take the prasādam of Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Otherwise, even you do ordinary killing, vegetable killing, you are killing so many germs. So in higher sense if you take this principle of Bible, “Thou shalt not kill,” that means you must eat Kṛṣṇa prasādam, otherwise you will be killing. And whichever you do, it will be killing. So our process is perfect, take Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Hm?

Viśākhā: What happens to the jīva souls who were fruits and vegetables that were offered to Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Yes, there is jīva also. I say that even vegetable you are killing, but that killing responsibility goes to Kṛṣṇa. We are killing for Kṛṣṇa. Suppose in the vegetable there is life, but we are preparing food for Kṛṣṇa.

NaraNārāyaṇa: I think she wants to know what happens to the soul. Supposing that a plant, we are killing the plant and offering in prasādam to Kṛṣṇa. The jīva soul who is living in the plant, what happens to him?

Prabhupāda: Because he is killed for Kṛṣṇa’s purpose so he gets immediately liberation.

Devotee (lady): This is a very sinful life they’re living unless we offer everything to Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Not anything. Kṛṣṇa, whatever says (indistinct). Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁtoyam [Bg. 9.26]. You can offer these things which is asked by Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee: Do they just get liberation or do they go directly to Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Hm?

Devotee: They go to Kṛṣṇa or do they only get liberation? Do they go to Goloka Vṛndāvana?

Devotee: What kind of liberation?

Prabhupāda: Well, liberation not always means that he goes directly. In the lower stage liberation means to come out of the lower stage to the human form of body. Then he gets chance for directly serving Kṛṣṇa, then real liberation takes place. [break] (indistinct) All right. (end)

Here we see the Jīva gets liberation from the plant or animal life by the offering procedure. Every offering we do with milk the cow is automatically benefited with a human birth.

Prabhupada said also that cow milk is meant for humans (besides calves of course):

The grains, the fruits, the vegetables, so many things. They are meant for human being. The grains are not meant for the tigers. The grains are meant for the human being. The fruits are meant for the dogs. The fruits are meant for the human being. The milk. The milk is produced by the cow, but it is not meant for the cow. It is meant for the human being. If you offer the milk, 30 pounds of milk, after milking the cow, and if you offer to the cow, it will refuse. It will refuse, “I don’t want it.” Give it dry grass? Oh, it will be very glad.

Lecture on BG 3.13-16 — New York, May 23, 1966

What we really need is Cow Protection, then the world and the cows will be saved. That was Prabhupada stressing, and not changing our diets. That will not help at all.

4 thoughts on “FISKCONs Veganism: Are we not to offer milk!?

  1. I don’t think “my religion of choice” justifies using individuals for their breast milk.

    There are so many types of milk and we have no biological dietary need for dairy, there is no justification for producing such a product.

    1. I see that u don’t know much or nothing about “our” religion.
      It’s a scientific process that has existed before history was recorded.

      The Vedic culture is very old tradition , the Bhagavad Gita itself was spoken 5000 years.

      I can only recommend to read the books from Prabhupada, he has described everything clearly in his books, letters etc.

      So our process named Bhakti Yoga or Krsna Consciousness has nothing to do with believing or following blindly something or someone. That is real religion, u have also practice what u know is right.

      Here in the subcontinent of India the people drink because it has so many benefits, even if it’s contaminated. Science has showed us that it has many healts benefits, I can only confirm from my side also.

      I was following also the vegan lifestyle for many years. But now I’m drinking milk I’m feeling much better in my body and also can think sharper, better than ever before.

      Lastly It’s not about being “vegetarian or vegan”, is still a bodily conception. We are not Hindu or Christian or Jews or Germans, we are all spirit souls (antimatter) that have accepted a material body in this world.
      Here it’s explained nicely:

    2. Milk is coming always from a mother. As children we need to drink mothers milk or at least cows milk. The cows are producing so much milk. Why? Because natures has arranged it that humans get benefitted from holy cows through their milk and other products. Cows are benefitting also spiritual and because farmers give them fields they can have enough grass to eat and be protected in our farm communities.

      Only calves need milk, but only for a certain time and not 30 pounds a day, only something. We need it to develop our body, our brain and to think beyond ourselves. So u think cows don’t want give milk, but still they like so much this interaction with us. U can see for urselves we have many farms in USA and Europe, there the cows like to be milked with love and feed with fresh, tasty Krsna Prasadam.

      We have only to adopt this and spread the cow protection everywhere. That the religion leaders in all religions have to do. Everyone can make arrangements with farmers that the cows will not slaughtered only well treated and that the calves are not separated from their babies. But that would also be a solution for the time being before everyone has their own cows to protect.

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